My fountain pen scratches the post-consumer recycled paper. You ever just want to run screaming, I write, from everything and everyone?
It sounded good when I rehearsed it in my head, but on paper it looks whiny. I do want to run screaming, and I want to announce to my world that I am never, ever comfortable in it. But each time I try, it looks pathetic.
I write the word PATHETIC in block letters, crumple the paper, and toss it in the recycle bin.
I get a new paper. Funny, I write, how I can consider abandoning all human connections, but I still recycle paper to save the planet.
I read it and scowl. Not funny. BORING, I write, and crumple the sheet.
I stare at the ceiling. A spindly-legged spider is messing around, making a cobweb. I wonder if it’s a cob spider. Cob spiders are endangered, so I let them live in my house. Am I clever enough to have made that up, or do cob spiders really exist?
My lazy mind can’t focus, wanders back to the faint possibility of killing my wife. I don’t actually want to kill her, I correct myself; I just want her to have died. It’d be great to start over fresh. I’m told divorce is messy. Too much trouble. No, being a widower would be so much easier than being a divorcee.
That’s probably why I stick with her. I’m waiting for her to keel over. I get a little hopeful every time I hear about someone’s untimely death. It happens, they all prove it. Not everyone lives to a crotchety old age.
Last Wednesday, I write, I murdered my wife with a fountain pen. She was reincarnated as a Bichon Frise. I draw a face with Xs for the eyes and a tongue sticking out. I’m not sure it could look more juvenile.
I write CHILDISH and crumple my paper.
Later, when the landlord comes to collect rent and finds me sprawled at odd angles, he’ll open all these papers before calling the police. He’s nosy that way. He’ll conclude I was always crazy. He’ll tell the news I was always a quiet tenant, kept to myself. But he’ll talk about warning signs. National talk radio shows will advocate locking up depressed people for their own good. That’ll make a ripple.Really, I’m just giving my wife a hand.
--Jessie Peacock’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Sand: A Journal of Strange Tales, DOGZPLOT, Beyond Centauri, LITSNACK, and Skive Magazine. She writes with two dogs in her lap and blogs at http://jessie-peacock.blogspot.com.